Hi Carlos, in your question, you mention several different game jobs: writer, programmer, tester, design, and art. So the first thing I’d recommend is to get some clarity on which game job you want to do. If you can identify what it is you want to do, then the path will be clearer. If you’re currently going for a degree in writing or programming, then try to do some game-related projects while you’re in school, to start building your portfolio. Then you’ll be able to apply for jobs directly after college.
Thank you so much for all of your answers to those questions, it has really helped me. I want to eventually work my way up to either being a programmer at valve or ubisoft. But I want to start off my video game career as a game tester. But just a quick question, what would it take to be a game tester for a company like ubisoft or valve because it would make it much easier working my way up on the job ladder for a company that I want to work for. And if they are only looking for experienced testers to work for them what do you recommend as a good company to test games for that would accept new testers?
Technically, you need to be at least the minimum working age in your country, state, or province. But practically, most game companies won’t hire people as testers until they turn 18 years old. If you’re not old enough yet, you can start preparing for your future job by following some of the advice listed elsewhere in this article, and listen to my podcast about getting a job in games.
It might surprise you to learn that strong writing and communication skills are essential for a good video game tester. The ability to write in a clear, brief, and effective manner will help you describe the glitches you find and how you found them. Your clear writing will give developers a clear path to addressing the issue and creating a fix. You don’t have to be a poetic, colorful author; you need to be a clear, concise, and detailed communicator.
Not necessarily, because testing games can be quite different from testing business software. Doing ad-hoc testing of game clients doesn’t well prepare you for a different job writing test automation for Java servers, for example. But it will familiarize you with the software development process, and you’ll get practice reproducing, reporting and regressing bugs.

First of all, a high-quality video game tester will have a strong knack for details. Gaming proficiency is required, but you’ll need to take it even further by spotting glitches that are so small the average player will never notice them. A good game tester will have to spot these tiny details and point them out to the developer. You can fully expect to be tested on details when interviewing for a game testing job.
Besides a typical “game tester” job, there’s also a job that you may not have heard of yet called an “SDET” (pronounced “ESS-det”). That stands for “software design/development engineer in test.” It’s a cool job that’s basically a tester that writes computer code – code that tests the game in an automated way. So it’s like a testing job, but the salary is much higher since it requires programming skills. A programming degree or some programming classes would be really helpful for landing a job as an SDET.
The hardest part of this job is that most video game testers don’t get to pick the game they are testing. If you are a diehard Guitar Hero fan, it may be challenging to test for controller problems in the newest Hannah Montana game. Every tester must remember that video game testing is a job and even after long hours and sore eyes, you are still getting paid to play video games. And sometimes you live the dream, when you are paid for “testing” Mario Kart or beating Ninja Gaiden.
Most game testing jobs are near the larger game studios, which happen to be in the larger cities around the world. You may be able to find testing jobs in smaller towns and cities, but if you’re positive that you want to break into the game industry then you’ll have the best chances of finding work if you can move to one of the major cities for game development.
Funcom is looking to hire not 1 but 2 talented External Producers to handle the management of the company’s publishing projects. Opportunity locations: Raleigh, NC USA & Oslo, Norway The role’s responsibilities include the continuous communication with developers, the management of work pipelines, project finances, team management, internal and external resource management and the successful timely launch of the projects/titles.
hi i am a 21 yr old young man who loves to play games,,,i have done graduation in electrical engg,, and now i am employed in a company as an engineer,,,when i came back off from duty then i just like to spend all the remaining time in playing video games,,,i mainly play on my xbox 360 and on ps3 too,,,from my point of view i think that i am a very good player,,,playing games when i was only 8,,,well i heard about the game testing in a site,,which says that u are get to paid only by testing games which are yet to strike the market,,,i thought earlier that they were spams but after a quite research things changed for me,,,so now i want to become a game tester if i can get the oppurtunity,,,,i am a good gamer and only satisfied when i completes every game to its 100%,,,i have played many times of games like arcade,,shooting like call of duty 1,2,3 mw-1,mw-2,black ops,mw-3(new one) to role playing games like assassin's creed every part to 100% syncronisation,have all the save data for the proof to,,,and specially like strategic games like king's bounty,age of empires etc,,,so i want to know that with my capabilities and a will to play can i become a game tester??
Hi Arun, most QA jobs are full-time jobs. But you could possibly learn programming and get a degree in the evening and weekends from schools that offer continuing education or adult-learning certificates. For example I learned programming and made my first game demo while I was a tester, and then I completed a 1-year game development certificate course while I was working full time as a game designer.
Many testing jobs are temporary, working only for the duration of a particular game. However, testing can lead to jobs in other areas of quality assurances. Many people start working as testers in hopes that testing will lead to a job in design or development – this does happen, but it's rare. Only the best and the luckiest make the leap from the testing trenches to other departments.

If you are searching for a career that lets you work from your own home, then look to the video game industry. While some game testers will work in-house for major companies, work from home is a very common practice. This means that many testers have no daily schedule and no boss hovering over their work. However, once an assignment is given, you are expected to meet specific deadlines. How you meet those deadlines is entirely up to you. Often the game developer will set individual milestones, breaking down the work into smaller segments.
Hi Darren, I do not think it’s too late for you to start transitioning careers, there are plenty of examples of people chaining to the game industry as a second career. I have some specific advice on an episode of the podcast about how to transition to a new career in games, so check that out for sure. You also might like 10 proven ways to break into the game industry. I wish you luck!
hi Mr. Jason my Name is Dalton I have been currently working as a student in the Cascades jobcorps in Sedro Woolley, but frankly I’m from Marysville WA, I wanted to ask you if a game tester/QA tester gets any kind of Social life while trying to maintain his current life, I have been told from one person that it’s life crushing and from another it’s a can-do Career, but I wanted to know from your point of view
As you can see at the top left hand corner that my name is Eric. Im 13 years old and have a deep desire to get a job and make good money fast. I play video games on a regular basis and have a tendency to get stuff done cleanly and quickly. I had my eye on video game testing for quite a while now and also thinking about going further than that in the gaming industry such as coming up with ideas and things they need to fix or put in. As if they can use my imagination to use. For now video game testing. Im hoping to get some information on where I can start and not whether im too young or not.
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Hello! I’ve been playing video games for nearly all my life. I’ve put in so much time on gaming it’s crazy. But what do I do half the time I game? I find glitches. I’ve participated in private beta trials in nearly 6 PlayStation exclusive games and two other well-known games. I have also acquired the knowledge to use Microsoft Office programs proficiently, and I am studying game programming for the sake of learning how to better grasp the terminology and understanding of how a glitch is caused, and how it can be fixed. I’m only 17 and I am a junior in high school, however my dream is to become a QA Tester at Insomniac Games, the developers of Ratchet & Clank (which happens to be my favorite game franchise of all time). With the progress I’m making and these goals I have in mind, do you think they would accept me in the event I choose to apply for the job? Thanks for your input in advance. 🙂
According to the Gamasutra Salary Survey of 2014, the online publication for Game Developer Magazine, the average salary for testers is about $54,833 annually. The same study found that testers with over three years of experience average roughly $48,426 a year. If you work for over six years, you can expect to reach an average of $62,885 a year, and those with a master’s degree earned on average $65,000.

Hi Stephen, you aren’t convinced by my articles on game developer salary, which are well-cited? And not by my interviews with game industry veterans from giant game teams like Assassin’s Creed, Forza Motorsports, Project Spark, and mega-hits like Plants vs. Zombies? Or by all my articles on interviewing at game companies, based on many years of experience as a hiring manager? Then I’m afraid you can’t be convinced.
Learn how to become a game tester with my book, Land a Job as a Video Game Tester. You’ll learn the basics of game testing, and all the steps to apply, interview, and accept job offers. I worked hard to write a book that provides everything you need to know to get a job testing games, but if I missed anything then you should email me and I’ll answer any remaining questions you may have. read it
The overall job outlook for Video Game Designer careers has been negative since 2004. Vacancies for this career have decreased by 32.33 percent nationwide in that time, with an average decline of 5.39 percent per year. Demand for Video Game Designers is expected to go up, with an expected 7,940 new jobs filled by 2018. This represents an annual increase of 11.59 percent over the next few years.

The lead programmer manages the software engineering of a game, developing the technical specification and then delegating different elements. They usually compile technical documentation and ensure the quality, effectiveness and appropriateness of all the game code. They also manage the production of the different ‘builds’ of a game, ensuring that coding bugs are fixed, and making sure everything happens on schedule. The lead programmer must also provide support and guidance to the programming team, which can include specialism in games engine programming, graphics programming, gamesplay, physics, artificial intelligence (AI), tools development, networking and build engineering.
Funcom is looking to hire not 1 but 2 talented External Producers to handle the management of the company’s publishing projects. Opportunity locations: Raleigh, NC USA & Oslo, Norway The role’s responsibilities include the continuous communication with developers, the management of work pipelines, project finances, team management, internal and external resource management and the successful timely launch of the projects/titles.

I am interested in becoming a game tester. I am 21 years old and have done some college (not towards this profession) however, I have no desire to finish. I know you don’t need a college degree but, it is preferred. I don’t have a lot of knowledge when it comes to game design, programming, etc. and don’t mind taking a couple of classes to learn more about it because gaming is my passion. Are taking classes about game design and programming ok? Is there any other specific classes I’m supposed to take? Answering these questions would be greatly appreciated. I saw above from the other comments that you reply rather quickly which gave me the courage to right this. 🙂
2. Most of the bug software works the same as all the others. For each bug you find, you create a new “page” (database entry) and fill out the form. The form will ask for information such as which area of the game you found the bug in, how “bad” the bug is (e.g. does it just look bad, or does it actually crash the game). Then you type up the exact steps you took to find the bug, so that a member of the development team can do the same thing to see the bug in action and fix it.
The Community Manager will serve as the vital link between our company and its global community of game developers and designers, NGOs, funders, and businesses using games to catalyze change across sectors from health and education to social justice and the environment. The Community Manager often serves as the first point of contact, helping establish and maintain our organization’s brand vision and experience.
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